The Basics of Sports Betting


Sports betting offers some of the biggest payouts you can make in a casino. Sports wagering is also one of the parts of a casino where the bettor can make money. The casino always has a small house advantage but with enough research and smart betting strategy, it’s possible for sports bettors to turn a profit. Today about 1% of all sports bettors are professionals. That’s a greater percentage than you’ll find for other casino game. Before getting down like a professional sports bettor, it’s important to know some basics. Sports_Button-Bar-Series

House Rules

Every land-based and online casino sports book have different house rules. You should check these rules if you’re worried that a wager’s outcome. A few years ago when an NCAA football game score was adjusted hours after the game was completed, different casinos offered different payouts due to different house rules. If you have a favorite casino, it’s important to know how it operates.

Point Spread Betting

Many sports bettors consider the point spread to be the great equalizer in betting sports like football and basketball. The point spread is created by the sports book to provide a number of points that the favorite, often the better team, is likely to win by. Point spreads aren’t used to say one team is better by a certain amount of points. Rather they’re designed to draw wagers on either side of the point spread. When one side has too much money wagered the point spread will move so encourage money to be wagered on the other side. The casino will profit from the commission earned on each sports wager. Commission on wagers is also called “Vig” (short for vigorish). The most common odds for point spread bets are 11 to 10. This means that if you want to win $100, you’ll have to wager $110. Point spread wagering is not the easiest but its house edge for the casino is small and manageable. The vig means that you won’t turn a profit by winning half of your wagers. The break even point for point spread bettors is 52.38%. Professional sports betting that results in the bettor winning 55% of their wagers can make a living because they’re betting a higher volume of games than a recreational bettor.

Money Line Betting

Sports like baseball and hockey are mostly bet on with a money line. You simply choose a side to win and collect based on the money line. The concept is simple, but there is a strategy involved with money line wagers. Understanding how the money line works is the key to understanding money line wagering. The favorite team on the money line will offer less of a return than the underdog. The favorite in a given game might be -170, meaning you have to wager $170 to win $100. The underdog in that same game might be +190 meaning you will receive $190 for each $190 wagered. That’s quite a difference. Money line betting strategy is different than point spreads in that you can win fewer games and turn a profit if you’re betting on underdogs. It’s possible to win as few as 45% of your games if you’re wagering on all underdogs since you’re winning more than you risk. This is a nice alternative to -110 point spread betting.


A parlay is when you group two or more games together to win a larger sum of money. The prizes with parlays can be huge, but they’re very difficult to win. It’s tough enough picking one winning team let alone 5 or 6 winners. Nevada casinos win about 35% of all parlays played. While big prizes are great, these wagers are not easy money. Sports betting can be the most fun and profitable game in a casino. Knowing sports is half the battle. Understanding how to wager on each sport can allow you to make money in the casino.

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